Dressage competitors have their own unique perspective on what they see when observing a CDI competition. In the following comments, dressage rider Elly Schobel offers her notes on what most caught her attention when observing this past weekend's Raleigh CDI.
Driving home from CDI Raleigh/Capitol Dressage, I thought about some memorable moments that I'd like to share:
* Every time I walked into the show office I was greeted with a smile and a 'How can I help you' - even on Sunday.
* Memories of the many great volunteers for the CDI Raleigh/Capitol Dressage show (especially those bleary eyed sons and husbands who had been drafted into service).
* The large selection at the NCDCTA used tack sale (... and the lesson that you do not wait to purchase items, they may be gone - I learned the hard way!)
* The ground crew at the James Hunt Complex (even though I thought that the footing in both the indoor and covered arenas was deeper then in previous years and a little less water on the warm-up ring would have been nice).
* I'll remember the inexpensive hotel I booked on the Internet that had both a laundromat and a Waffle House close by.
* The Coffee Hound carried all types of coffee AND my favorite brand of tea.
* Learning that a number of well-known professionals braid their own horses.
* I'll never forget Lowara, Nancy Holowesco's impressive young Hanoverian mare, ridden by Ulla Petersen.
* And, I'll remember Jennifer Baumert and her 'faithful sidekicks' Ashley and Emma - not a loud word all weekend long, just quietly working together, bringing home one blue ribbon after another on a number of different horses.
I'll carry with me memories of some fabulous riders and horses, such as:
* Teresa Butta training Dorrie Forte's talented, gentle giant Froehlich.
* Tami Crawford's young Dutch horse Wiseguy.
* Lars Petersen's outstanding Grand Prix Freestyle.
* Melissa Taylor riding Lars's freestyle with him from the rail.
* Tara Stegen and New Tango - she created their Grand Prix Freestyle and has done so for years.
* Mikala Gundersen's rides on Pik L and Leonberg.
* Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel's elegant rides on the Brazilian Lusitano stallion Tonico do Top which resulted in wins at Fourth Level, PSG and a tie with Jules in the Developing Horse class, which was broken in favor of Jules.
* I'll also never forget how Jim Koford never seems to run out of energy to either teach or ride.
* And I left Raleigh thinking about the amount of horses Jules Andersen can ride in one day (congrats on winning the Developing Horse class).
* Can't forget the three Southern gentlemen who changed my flat tire with speed, which would make NASCAR proud.
* Also in my memory is the fact that the gas prices in SC were actually lower than in NC.
Hope to see you in Raleigh in 2009